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TriCross frame question, and new wheels

mattrixdesign2mattrixdesign2 Posts: 644
edited March 2014 in Cyclocross
The wheels on my TriCross need replacing, when I bought it (used) I put on my old Mavic Aksiums, they ran fine, problem is the rear wheel is now slightly out of true, and its seems the inner rim, spokes etc have corroded, so its now not possible to tighten the spokes up!

So my first question is, what new wheels under £100! tight budget, but I don't want to go mad. Initially thinking Campag Khasin ASY CX wheels, light enough and CX specific, any thing else? I want something that takes normal spokes and can be maintained, suits a light-ish rider, yet strong enough for a bit of CX/longer cross rides. Doesn't have to be CX wheels, something road will do, if its up to the job.

Secondly, ref the Tricross frame, it's a TriCross sport from 2009 in good nick. I quite like the ride, although its perhaps a size up from what I would have bought (its a 54 like my road bike, but its a touch too long I think), I bought it used so it was a gamble at the time. Not sure if buying a shorter stem etc is worth while. In comparison to other options (i,e, similar bikes/CX bikes) are the TriCross frames light weight, are they worth upgrading, or worth building on with better parts?

Really in two minds with the bike (despite liking it!), its in excellent condition, with 105 that looks like new (fitted be previous owner), its a Triple at the front which I don't really like, seems I can never quite find the right gear, which is odd with so much choice, I also wish I could have disc brakes as they make so much sense for winter and off road rides. I could put some unused road wheels (from my Allez) on it and sell it and either break even or possibly make a small profit on it (It was bought at a very good price!). Then look for something to replace it, problem is at a budget of say 1K it seems decent groupset specs are as rare as rocking horse poop!

Its mainly used for commute into work, possibly some CX races, messing about locally, and some 50 mile plus on/off road adventures.

Thoughts? Keep and upgrade, sell and replace?

Posts

  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    I've been riding a 2009 Tricross Sport Triple for the last 3 years. Bought it from my brother second hand but in perfect condition.
    I replaced the original stem for a slightly shorter one and went with a -20 degree stem while I was at it which results in pretty typical road bike geometry. I've been using Fulcrum Racing 7 wheels with Continental 4 Seasons tyres since the start of 2013 and these did make it a nicer ride, especially on the hills. The original wheels were very heavy. I think the Fulcrum 7s are the same sort of level as Aksiums. I reckon the Tricross is an ideal bike for commuting due to the ability to use a wide range of tyre sizes and fit full mudguards. Also for urban use the top bar brake levers are ideal for busy junctions where you might want to stay more upright to get a better look at what's happening around you.
    I really like the triple chainrings. They've never given me any trouble.

    I've ordered a new lightweight road bike at the moment but I'll be keeping the Tricross too.
    I haven't decided how I'm going to use the Tricross from now on. There's 3 options:
    1. Put on a set of cyclocross tyres and use it for some off-road
    2. Re-fit the mudguards and use it as my wet weather bike
    3. Switch the speedplays for flat pedals, put on a slightly padded saddle, buy a lock and use it for getting about in plain clothes when I don't need the car.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    I have a TriCross triple from 2011 - the original tyres & wheels combo made it heavy to ride, but once I put the FR5s on with slicks it ran as fast as the road bike (Allez). I bought the same frame size as my road bike (56) but found the cockpit to short, so bought a 110 stem which then too me to the same reach as my Allez. If I did more trails and less road then I'd consider going back to the shorter stem.

    I don't find the triple to be annoying - I find it quite useful - but you need it coupled with the right cassette. Mine is a 30-39-50 and came with a 9 speed 32-11 cassette - I tried that combo for a month before deciding that I just couldn't get the right gear for the road, plus I never used the inner chainring - so bought a 23-11 cassette and put that on instead. In normal running along the flat I have a load of serviceable gears and when it comes to going up I can either grind away in 39-23 or slip down into the 30-23 selection giving me a slightly easier ratio than my road bike (as was).
    I didn't trash the 32-11 cassette - that's on the stock wheel with a CX tyre on for family riding or with the studded tyres for when the ground is frozen.

    I purposely bought a bike with rim brakes as I wanted to be able to swap wheels about with my other bikes - yes I'd like disc brakes, but it would just cost too much to get extra sets for all bikes. So now I can use the FR5s on my Tricross or with slicks on on my Allez or if I really need to, swap them onto my carbon bike - or swap with my wifes bike wheels - handy when you go to ride to work and realise you've got a flat ...

    It's currently in wet commute mode - with a rack, full mudguards and 32mm slick tyres - I have it ready to go so even if it's not wet I can just hop on and ride. I sometimes take it when accompanying my wife on her training rides as it's harder work for me - so gives me a bit of a workout...
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    slowbike wrote:
    ....I don't find the triple to be annoying - I find it quite useful - but you need it coupled with the right cassette. Mine is a 30-39-50 and came with a 9 speed 32-11 cassette - I tried that combo for a month before deciding that I just couldn't get the right gear for the road, plus I never used the inner chainring - so bought a 23-11 cassette and put that on instead. In normal running along the flat I have a load of serviceable gears and when it comes to going up I can either grind away in 39-23 or slip down into the 30-23 selection giving me a slightly easier ratio than my road bike (as was)....
    Good point! I forgot to mention that I don't use the original cassette either. I usually use a 12-27 on mine and have a 12-23 that I sometimes put on if I'm not expecting to be in the mountains for a while. 9 speed cassettes are pretty cheap now that most groupsets are 10 and 11 speed - which is nice.

    I'm not so fast in the hills but the 30/27 combo can still get me up anything short of about 20% gradient. I rarely use the small ring but it's there when needed. I might miss the triple on the new bike (compact) with a smallest gear of 34/28. I'm hoping a couple of kilos less bike weight and a couple of kilos less of me will be enough to compensate!
  • I am not sure what it is with the triple, may be its the cassette at the back, seem to be messing with gears more than on my compact 2x10 (Allez), and oddly seem to drop down to the bottom ring far to often, where as on my Allez I am in the large ring 90% of the time, even short hills.

    I honestly like the bike, and I am quite smug it was a bargain (£299 on Ebay, frame was in a really good condition, and it has a brand new full 105 group, other than cantis, installed, the shifters are still like new).

    The stock wheels that came on it were very heavy (Alex branded), and it was a relief to swap them out for Aksiums.

    What I can't decide is to improve things, i.e. spend on some money on new wheels (I could put some older heavier ones on to sell it), may be a double when the triple goes... or sell it on and get something with discs... mmmmmm!

    This one is interesting, kind of ticks a few boxes, but its an oddity...

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/pin ... e-ec054865

    (any thing else out there like this?)

    or something like this, but the spec is a "down grade" for the excellent 105!

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/can ... e-ec053953

    or perhaps lighter in terms of £/lb

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/gen ... 03#reviews
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Don't expect us to talk you into buying something with discs - if you want to then do it - nothing wrong with either approach. It does sound like you're not happy with the TriCross.

    Small chainring on the Tricross and big ring on the Allez sounds like you need to MTFU whilst on the Tricross - even heavy wheels don't make that much difference - believe me - I've commuted in on the studded tyres and whilst it's hard going I didn't resort to the granny cog ...
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    Sounds like your trouble with the tricross gears is just de-railleur adjustment or excessive cross-chaining rather than an actual issue with triples?

    If it's for commuting and/or mixed riding (road and gentle off-road) I doubt you'll end up with anything much better unless you spend well over £1k. The only significant flaw I ever found with the Tricross is front brake chatter.
    If you want to do proper cyclocross or you're getting serious about road riding then an upgrade might become worthwhile. I've done numerous sportives up to 200km in length on mine plus several duathlons and adventure races. The only place I can credibly claim the bike is a slight handicap is on steep hills where it's probably 0.5-1kg heavier than an equivalent priced road bike. That's in it's slightly stripped down guise with new wheels/tyres and top bar brakes removed. In stock config it would have been maybe 2.5kg overweight.
    The new bike will save me about 2.5kg over the current configuration but it's considerably more expensive than a Tricross Sport.

    The Pinnacle is a single chainring bike, a 38T. That would put me off completely.
    the Cannondale and genesis look like nice bikes but from a practical point of view I don't see what they give you that the Tricross doesn't, except disc brakes on the Cannondale.
    Of course if you just want a new bike because you're bored with the current one that's a different matter.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Ive done miles and miles on mine as well - took it on holiday last year rather than the road bike as I have a rack and bag which made it better for social rides - but also did some solo blats too - the road bike would've been a little nicer, but overall this was the better option.
    ai_1 wrote:
    The only place I can credibly claim the bike is a slight handicap is on steep hills where it's probably 0.5-1kg heavier than an equivalent priced road bike. That's in it's slightly stripped down guise with new wheels/tyres and top bar brakes removed. In stock config it would have been maybe 2.5kg overweight.
    The new bike will save me about 2.5kg over the current configuration but it's considerably more expensive than a Tricross Sport.
    Oddly enough I've got a PB on a big hill on my tricross complete with rack and bag (though not with mudguards) - it did have 23mm slicks on and FR5 wheels.

    I do hope to upgrade the brakes to something a bit better - having gone from stock brakes on the Allez to 105s I found it makes a huge difference - should be similar with canti's...
  • slowbike wrote:
    Don't expect us to talk you into buying something with discs - if you want to then do it - nothing wrong with either approach. It does sound like you're not happy with the TriCross.

    Small chainring on the Tricross and big ring on the Allez sounds like you need to MTFU whilst on the Tricross - even heavy wheels don't make that much difference - believe me - I've commuted in on the studded tyres and whilst it's hard going I didn't resort to the granny cog ...

    Must admit I do have a thing for discs, not just the stopping power, but IMO they are low maintenace, compared to blocks and rims. Also done a few tours, fully laden on the road bike, in the rain, going down hill, and the bike wont stop :shock:

    MTFU?

    I am going to check the gearing, its not that I need the smaller ring, maybe its an odd habit, but I sometimes drop into it, then for some reason use the rear block across the full range, yet can happily honk up hill on my road bike the big ring. May be its the rear casette range?

    I commute on it using centre treaded knobbies, and have also used winter studs. I reckon it will fly with slicks. Temped to try some semi/slicks come summer. It will be doing some rides in Anglesey and locally of about 60/70miles on road and on dirt.

    No issues with the brake, no brake clatter at the front, actually pleasantly surpised with Cantis, first time using them since the bad old days of 90s mountain bike cantis (they were awful). The do work, less so in the wet, but useable.

    So back the original question, what wheels would you suggest, for wet road, on/off road (mud etc), yet light weight, but for not much more than £100.
  • ai_1 wrote:
    Sounds like your trouble with the tricross gears is just de-railleur adjustment or excessive cross-chaining rather than an actual issue with triples?

    If it's for commuting and/or mixed riding (road and gentle off-road) I doubt you'll end up with anything much better unless you spend well over £1k. The only significant flaw I ever found with the Tricross is front brake chatter.
    If you want to do proper cyclocross or you're getting serious about road riding then an upgrade might become worthwhile. I've done numerous sportives up to 200km in length on mine plus several duathlons and adventure races. The only place I can credibly claim the bike is a slight handicap is on steep hills where it's probably 0.5-1kg heavier than an equivalent priced road bike. That's in it's slightly stripped down guise with new wheels/tyres and top bar brakes removed. In stock config it would have been maybe 2.5kg overweight.
    The new bike will save me about 2.5kg over the current configuration but it's considerably more expensive than a Tricross Sport.

    The Pinnacle is a single chainring bike, a 38T. That would put me off completely.
    the Cannondale and genesis look like nice bikes but from a practical point of view I don't see what they give you that the Tricross doesn't, except disc brakes on the Cannondale.
    Of course if you just want a new bike because you're bored with the current one that's a different matter.

    Perhaps I have not been clear, the gears run very smooth! I just seem unhappy with them, I suppose I want somethnig to match the ratio of my road bike, hard to explain, its like I am spoilt for choice!
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Must admit I do have a thing for discs, not just the stopping power, but IMO they are low maintenace, compared to blocks and rims. Also done a few tours, fully laden on the road bike, in the rain, going down hill, and the bike wont stop :shock:
    No issues with the brake, no brake clatter at the front, actually pleasantly surpised with Cantis, first time using them since the bad old days of 90s mountain bike cantis (they were awful). The do work, less so in the wet, but useable.
    Make up your mind .. you should have the measure of how well (or not) your brakes work ... ;)
    MTFU?
    Yer! :p
    I am going to check the gearing, its not that I need the smaller ring, maybe its an odd habit, but I sometimes drop into it, then for some reason use the rear block across the full range, yet can happily honk up hill on my road bike the big ring. May be its the rear casette range?
    Or may be you've just got into bad habits on that bike. I have a touch of lazyitis when it comes to gearing - I got a new road bike with a compact and 28-11 cassette - Initially I didn't think I'd use the 34/28 combo - but after a few weeks I found I dropped down into that selection and still did the grinding up hill - just a bit slower than I was on my previous 39/26 lowest selection. I've ditched the compact and gone for a 27-12 cassette and can still go up the same hills ... just lazyitis on my part in selecting the easiest gear.
    I commute on it using centre treaded knobbies, and have also used winter studs. I reckon it will fly with slicks. Temped to try some semi/slicks come summer. It will be doing some rides in Anglesey and locally of about 60/70miles on road and on dirt.
    I ride with GP4seasons in the summer - 23mm - on the road though - superb on the road and ok on a bit of dirt although I'd want something a bit better if planning on doing off-road frequently.
    So back the original question, what wheels would you suggest, for wet road, on/off road (mud etc), yet light weight, but for not much more than £100.
    Personally I'd go with the Fulcrum Racing 7's - I have the 5s and they're excellent value for money - keep the stock wheels for the really mucky stuff with some knobblies on.
    I'd guess that Askiums or RS10s are similar but I have no experience with them.
  • Rim brakes work fine day to day, but come heavy touring, or torrential rain and steep hills, then I would prefer discs.

    Just worked out MTFU! Done plenty on the TriCross, 70miles on/off road, taken it n club road rides with knobbies for resistance training, I have plans for more adventures.

    I'll look at the fulcrums.
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